This Novato road will be “closed off for some time” for obvious reasons, and there’s a bigger problem that water and gas lines throughout Marin County are at risk of being disrupted.
The entire Bay Area is still sorting through the damages from Tuesday’s “once in a lifetime” storm, and in particular, mudslides throughout the region have wreaked havoc that will take days or even weeks to repair. Notably, the Chronicle reports that in Marin County’s Novato, a section of Redwood Boulevard is currently wrecked and busted up from mudslides and heavy rains, rendering 75-100 feet of the road clearly unusable, and also displacing a power pole and leaving a number of Marin residents without electricity.
“As a result of last nights storm a mudslide has damaged parts of Redwood Blvd near the park,” Novato’s Olompati State Park said in a Wednesday morning Facebook post. “As this is the only public road into Olompali expect access to the park to be closed off for some time.”
Crews are monitoring a mudslide that has severely damaged and buckled a 100-foot stretch of roadway in Marin County. Officials say the road runs adjacent to Highway 101 but there are currently no threats to the freeway. https://t.co/0HCt53rkOx pic.twitter.com/TGGhgnfib0— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) March 23, 2023
The Bay Area News Group describes that the wreckage covers “between 75 and 100 feet” of Redwood Boulevard near Buck Center Drive in Novato,” and adds that “The slide also displaced a power pole, leaving about 150 customers without power.”
Those households have since had their power restored, but there are still serious risks with underground gas transmission lines breaking. Even more concerning, the breakage is near underground aqueduct water lines that transmit water from the Russian River to Marin Municipal Water District and North Marin Water District. These lines were shut off briefly, because if they broke, the consequences would be far worse than households losing water. There would have been additional catastrophic floods on top of the mudslides already happening.
“In case the slide got worse, or was to move and destroy the pipe, we didn’t want thousands and thousands of gallons of water gushing into Highway 101,” North Marin Water District General Manager Tony Williams told the News Group.
Tuesday's storm resulted in a total of five deaths, two here in San Francisco, with both of the San Francisco deaths coming from fallen trees.
Image: Olompali State Historic Park via Facebook